O'Neill beams at Sidwell capture

Villa boss delighted to land midfielder from Chelsea

Sidwell: Set for Villa

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Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill has expressed his delight after the club agreed a deal to sign Steve Sidwell from Chelsea.

On Wednesday, it was confirmed that the two clubs had struck an agreement for Sidwell to join Villa, subject to a medical.

Sidwell joined The Blues from Reading last summer, but struggled for regular first-team football, recording just seven Premier League starts.

But O'Neill is confident Sidwell will prove a success at Villa Park after revealing the midfielder caught his eye two years ago.

Quality

O'Neill said: "Steve actually played for Reading in my first match at Villa Park. You always take note of players who do well against you and he stuck in my mind.

"However, I was less happy to see him do well again when we played at Reading that same season. He scored the second goal against us that day. But, again, the quality of his performance stayed with me.

"It was shortly after that he earned his move to Chelsea. Now, for whatever reason, it did not work out for him at Stamford Bridge. It's not my job to go into that, really.

"However, he is of the right age, and I believe the right quality, to take Aston Villa forward. He remains hungry to do well and to prove himself and I'm delighted to have him with us."